The U.S. Army CCDC Ground Vehicle Systems Center and the U.S. Army Next Generation Combat Vehicles Cross Functional Team intends to award an Other Transaction Agreement to QinetiQ North America to build four Light and Textron to build four Medium Robotic Combat Vehicles.
The Army's selections for both the RCV Light and RCV Medium agreements were announced in coordination with its partner, the National Advanced Mobility Consortium today. Pending successful negotiations, the Army intends to award the final OTA for both variants by mid-February.
"The progress that our engineers, scientists, project managers and leaders around Team Warren and the Army Modernization Enterprise have made in moving the RCV closer to reality is truly a heartening success story for Army modernization," said Jeffrey Langhout, Director, Ground Vehicle Systems Center. "That we can get this far already is a testament to the dedication and passion of the Army to giving our Soldiers the best capabilities possible. This is a great day for our Army, as we make another important step in learning how we can employ robotic vehicles into our future formations."
These RCVs will be used as part of the Army's Robotic Campaign of Learning that seeks to determine the feasibility of integrating unmanned vehicles into ground combat operations. The Light and Medium RCVs will be used to conduct a company-level experiment at the end of 2021. The results of that experiment, a platoon-level experiment in March of 2020, and several virtual experiments will inform a decision by the Army on how to proceed with robotic combat vehicles in 2023.
"Robots have the potential to revolutionize the way we conduct ground combat operations," said Brig. Gen. Ross Coffman, Director of the Next Generation Combat Vehicles Cross Functional Team. "Whether that's giving increased fire power to a dismounted patrol, breaching an enemy fighting position, or providing CBRNE reconnaissance, we envision these vehicles providing commanders more time and space for decisions and reducing risk to Soldiers."